Hudson -- Council President David Basil July 17 announced the people who will work on the Brandywine Creek watershed plan.

They include City Council member Dennis Hanink; Hudson City Manager Anthony Bales; Community Development Director Mark Richardson; Gene Fitch, member of the Environmental Awareness Committee; Allyn Marzulla, member of the Architectural and Historic Board of Review; and Jerry Unroe, member of the Tree Commission. Alternates include Mayor William Currin and City Engineer Thomas Sheridan.

The Hudson group will join with other communities in the Brandywine Creek watershed to create a Balanced Growth Plan for Brandywine Creek watershed and submit it to the state for endorsement by the end of November.

The plan, which was nearly completed in 2010, will determine the best place to develop and the best place to conserve land along the Brandywine Creek watershed, which covers approximately 26 square miles and drains portions of nine communities.

The number of each community's representatives is based on the percentage of the watershed in the community.

Hudson and Macedonia both have six representatives. Boston Heights and Northfield Center Township each have four representatives. Oakwood Village and the Village of Northfield each have three representatives and Boston Township, Sagamore Hills Township, Twinsburg Township, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Metro Parks Serving Summit County each have two representatives, for a total of 36 members to work on the plan.

The group will identify priority conservation and development areas for the watershed and submit a preliminary plan to the state for review. A final plan must be submitted to the state by May 2014.

Because Hudson has already designated wetlands and conservation areas, the impact of the plan on Hudson would be minimal, according to Hanink. Other communities with plans to develop areas that could be designated for conservation could be impacted.

The Hudson representatives will keep Council and the planning commission updated on the progress of the plan.

Once the Brandywine Creek Balanced Growth Plan is completed and endorsed by the state, communities can utilize 26 state programs to help implement the plan.

The goal of the Balanced Growth Plan is to protect and restore Lake Erie and its watersheds while supporting sustainable economic development, according to the Brandywine Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Plan.

Although 70 percent of the watershed remains undeveloped there are major concerns about loss of wetlands, forest canopy and natural areas, which help filter and clean water.


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